Australian-first $80 million children’s health and education centre of excellence begins construction on Gold Coast

JOINT STATEMENT

Key tenants have committed to be part of the new Proxima development, a $80 million children’s health and education centre of excellence which commenced construction today.

Proxima will be located within Lumina, the Queensland Government’s 9.5 hectare development dedicated to growing the life sciences, health and technology-related businesses within the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles and Minister for the Environment, Great Barrier Reef, Science and Youth Affairs Meaghan Scanlon were on site to turn the first sod today.

The Deputy Premier said partnering with the private sector to deliver innovative projects like this was part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

“This is an Australian-first, an early learning centre with in-house access to allied paediatric health and research professionals, that will be within Lumina at the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct,” Mr Miles said.

“Around 180 construction jobs will be created and when fully occupied, 900 health, teaching and research jobs will be based at Proxima, providing access to a huge range of services for families.

“Along with Proxima, the Queensland Government has finalised land sales to Griffith University for its Advanced Design and Prototyping Technologies (ADaPT) Institute, and an integrated residential aged care and key worker training facility. Four further sites are under commercial in-confidence negotiations.”

Minister Scanlon said founding tenant Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure is creating a unique environment that will include support for children with special needs.

“Innovation within the health and knowledge sectors is exactly why this precinct was established, and it’s great to see it coming to fruition,” Ms Scanlon said.

“Children will have access to the expert care that they need within a familiar, fun and caring environment at their early learning centre.

“The Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct is a long-term legacy project that offers a collaborative environment for global health and knowledge companies to invest and grow.

“I look forward to continuing to see more companies invest and grow here.”

Sanctuary Co-Founder, Damian Hall said this new state-of-the-art Sanctuary ELA service would cater for up to 400 children and would have their own specialists embedded within the centre.

“Pioneering this unique collaboration of early education, health and research will provide a platform to develop Australia’s very best inclusive early education program,” Mr Hall said.

“Proxima will help relieve more of the pressure on parents also as it will eliminate most excess travel involved in transporting their children to and from medical appointments.”

Joining Sanctuary at Proxima is Griffith University, a move which will foster further collaboration between education, health, research and childhood development, said Griffith University Vice Chancellor Carolyn Evans

“The co-location of Griffith and Sanctuary in the Proxima building is the perfect basis on which to establish a centre of excellence in Inclusive Early Childhood Education: a place in which every child can grow and learn together,” said Vice Chancellor Carolyn Evans from Griffith University,” Vice Chancellor Evans said.

“The centre brings together interdisciplinary teams across Griffith’s Allied Health disciplines and Early Childhood Education to embed a model of research-integrated inclusive childcare education.”

Mr Ian Langdon, Chair of the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Board, welcomed the move.

“This Australian-first early learning and allied health collaborative business model is an exciting initiative that’s great for the Gold Coast, the state of Queensland, and most importantly, children with special needs,” Mr Langdon said.

“With everything we know today about the success of early intervention programs for children, I look forward to the day that businesses such as this become the new standard.”

The new delivery model for allied health services for children is attracting attention, with Matthew Evans from Proxima’s developer, Evans Long, saying the premises is attracting strong enquiries.

“We launched the Proxima development with the plan to create a children’s centre of excellence and already the building has around 65% of its space committed,” Mr Evans said.

“The response from the market has been outstanding. We are in final negotiations with further key tenants and are receiving strong interest from other health-related businesses.

“It’s exciting to see construction commence today, and we expect the building to be complete by the end of 2022.”

Evans Long is the first commercial developer to commence construction in Lumina since the Queensland Government received handover of the Lumina land in 2019, previously used as the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village. Since handover, three land sales have been finalised, four further sites are under negotiation and two further sites are earmarked for investment by the Queensland Government to support small to medium enterprises.

Yesterday the Property Council of Australia announced Cohort was the winner of the State Development of the Year category for their Innovation & Excellence Awards 2021.

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